It’s clear that consumer demand for electric cars has increased dramatically in the past few years. However, transitioning away from a transportation industry powered by fossil fuels will take more than interest. California is trying to move things in the right direction.
Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed an executive order that will ban the sale of gas-powered cars and trucks by 2035 if it is implemented. The 15-year deadline is fairly aggressive, but meeting it is important if the world hopes to stop the looming environmental crisis.
California’s new green vehicle legislation is some of the strictest in the U.S. However, other states could soon follow suit.
The news is a clear signal to the electric car industry that it is time to step up. Manufacturers like Tesla, and mainstream carmakers like GM, will need to take advantage of this opportunity while also introducing affordable electric vehicles to the market.
Companies and governments around the world are emphasizing ways to cut down their greenhouse gas emissions. Governor Newsom says that his executive order will ultimately drop emissions in the state of California by 35 percent.
Notably, the order doesn’t actually ban gas-powered cars. People will still be able to drive the cars they own for as long as they last. The legislation only targets the sale (and re-sale) of combustion engine vehicles.
According to CNBC, California and “the roughly dozen states that follow its lead on auto emissions standards” account for a large portion of the U.S. automobile market. That means an all-electric future could be coming not just for The Golden State, but for the entire country.
The new order, if implemented, will make California the first state to completely phase out gas-powered cars. Even so, efforts in the U.S. lag behind several other countries. Germany, France, Norway, and a dozen other nations—mainly in Europe—have already committed to eliminating gas-powered cars.
It should be noted that the executive order gives heavy-duty trucks an additional decade to comply. In other words, gas-powered semis can still be sold until 2045. That’s good news considering the fact that electric carmakers still have a lot of work to do before releasing all-electric semis.
The auto industry hasn’t been excited about an electric future until recently. Now, it is in the midst of a massive shift towards vehicles that are powered by clean energy. The obvious players in the space are those dedicated to making electric cars, including Tesla, Lucid, and Rivian.
However, traditional automakers are starting to embrace greener mindsets as well. GM plans to roll out “20 or more” electric vehicles on its way to an all-electric future. Volkswagen aims to launch 50 electric cars through its various brands by 2025.
These plans are necessary if the world hopes to avoid a major climate crisis. The stakes are real and it is refreshing to see governments taking action. In a statement, Governor Newsom said, “This is the most impactful step our state can take to fight climate change. Our cars shouldn’t make wildfires worse—and create more days filled with smoky airs. Cars shouldn’t melt glaciers or raise sea levels threatening our cherished beaches and coastlines.”
Indeed, carmakers should take this as a challenge and step up accordingly. By shifting our roadways towards an all-electric future, we can protect the planet from further damage caused by emissions.